Pagan Journeys

Pagan Journeys => Paths and Traditions => Topic started by: Claude on May 31, 2012, 01:37:35 PM

Title: Hellenic Polytheism
Post by: Claude on May 31, 2012, 01:37:35 PM
I have been a Hellenic Polytheist for 7 years but what does that mean? In short Hellenic Polytheism is the worship of the ancient gods of Hellas (Greece). Our faith is highly individualistic based on the cultus (devotion to one god) you are a part of. I am a part of the cultus of Dionysus. Hellenism is an orthopraxic religion meaning the unifying factor is right practice not right belief. One is able to think what they will of the Gods but so long as they adhere to the traditions of Hellenism they are a Hellene. However there is a division within the faith between those calling themselves recons (reconstructionists) and those calling themselves Neo Hellenes (New Age Hellenes). Most Neo Hellenes don't follow the traditions so they are sometimes viewed as non Hellenic by the recons. Personally I consider myself to be a moderate Hellene. I adhere to the traditions but I realize that we can't recreate the religions of the ancients. Too much time has passed and their faith was too divided. Each city state had its own festivals its own myths and sometimes even different gods. One common thing both in ancient times and now is that belief in syncretism. Syncretism is the idea that all of the gods around the world are the same except they are viewed through a different cultural lens. We can see this quite often in the works of Heisod Julius Caesar and Tacitus. Because of syncretism one can adhere to the Hellenic traditions yet pray or celebrate the deities of another. To remain a Hellene one should celebrate these foreign deities as extensions of other forms of the Hellenic gods. It is fine to worship the foreign gods in their own traditions or in the traditions of the Hellenes. Deities are equated based on the mythology and cultus practices. Mythology in most Hellenic circles is viewed as pure allegory. It has hidden spiritual meanings that can be meditated on or it is for pure entertainment. Some Hellenes consider the Romans to be part of the faith. I believe that they are simply because Emperor Julian the Apostate is the one who invented the word Hellenism and Romans share common mythological ancestry and spiritual traditions. Hellenic recons do not practice magic because it was looked down upon by the ancient Hellenes. A lot of Neo Hellenes do practice magic but in all honesty they are more Wiccan than Hellene. I practice magic according to the Roman formulas and traditions. In Rome magic was accepted and used but it wasn't publicly talked about. Practitioners were usually clergy or older members of a cultus. There's a lot more about the faith but I believe that this is a very good start for anyone wanting to practice or for anyone curious about it.
Title: Re: Hellenic Polytheism
Post by: dragonspring on May 31, 2012, 10:08:49 PM
Cool.  Thanks for sharing!   :D